How to Get a Good Deal on a Used iPod

Avoid scams, duds, and price gouging by buying smart

Your iPod probably contains all your iTunes library data.
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Buying a used iPod will save you some cash, but buyer beware. If you're not careful, you could end up with a busted MP3 player or something that wasn't worth the money. Pay attention to these seven things when buying a used iPod and you should be ready to rock. 

What Generation Is the Used iPod?

Don't buy an iPod older than one generation behind the current model. For example, if Apple's current offering is the 7th Generation iPod touch, don't buy the 4th generation model.

The older the model, the more likely it is to have a dead or dying battery, compatibility problems with modern software, or other problems. In the world of technology, even three years can be an eternity. Be smart when you buy and don't get something that's too old, even if the price seems great.

Check Out The Seller

The seller's reputation is a good predictor of trouble. If you're buying on eBay, Amazon, or other sites where sellers are reviewed, take a look at your seller's feedback. If you're buying from a site, search for information on customer complaints about them. The more you know about the seller, the better.

Is There a Warranty?

If you can get a used iPod with a warranty — even an extended warranty — do it. The most reputable companies selling used or refurbished iPods stand behind their work and offer warranties (individual sellers don't usually do this; that's OK). If something goes wrong, at least you'll have some peace of mind.

Ask About the Battery 

The batteries in iPods can’t be replaced by the user when they die. A lightly used iPod should have decent battery life left, but anything more than a year or so old should be regarded cautiously. Ask the seller about the battery life or see if they’ll be willing to replace the battery with a fresh one (something repair shops can do) before you buy.

Wondering about battery replacement? Check out Is iPhone or iPod Battery Replacement Worth It?

How's the Screen? 

If the iPod hasn’t been kept in a case, its screen may be scratched. That’s normal from day-to-day use, but those scratches can annoying if you watch a lot of videos (it's a particular problem for used iPod touches since scratches can interfere with the touchscreen). Get a look at the iPod's screen (even if it’s just a photo) before buying.

For more on damaged screens, check out The Best Options for Repairing a Cracked iPhone Screen.

Get As Much Storage As You Can Afford

A low price is appealing, but remember that used iPods have less storage space than newer models. While the difference between a 16 GB iPod and a 32 GB iPod may not matter too much, the difference between a 10 GB iPod and a 160 GB iPod definitely does. Whenever possible, get the iPod with the most storage you can afford. You'll use it.

Think About Price

A lower price isn't always a better deal. Saving $50 on a used iPod is nice, but is that worth getting something that's beat up and has less storage? For some, the answer is yes. Others are willing to pay more for newer devices that are in better condition.

Where to Buy a Used iPod

If you're buying a used iPod, you need to decide where to pick up your new toy. Here are some good options:

  • Apple: Apple sells refurbished iPods through its online Apple Store. You can expect to save a few bucks and get a device checked out by the experts. Not a bad combo.
  • Resale companies: Companies like NextWorth and Gazelle, among many others, buy and sell used iPods at appealing prices. 
  • Apple resellers: Some of the companies that sell new iPods also sell used iPods. These are mostly mail-order or online stores, which offer prices similar to Apple.
  • eBay/Craigslist/Amazon: Sites like eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon are some of the key places to find bargains online, but buyer beware. Unless you’re buying from an established company with a good reputation, a scammer could stick you with a broken iPod that doesn’t have the specs they promised.

Selling Your Used iPod

If your new iPod is replacing an older one, you may want to sell your used iPod to get some money from it. Check out this list of companies that buy used iPods. Compare their offers for your old device and turn that iPod into extra cash.